This month we are raising awareness for cataracts. Cataracts are the third leading cause of blindness in the United States. The longer cataracts are left untreated, the more difficult it is to successfully remove the cataract and restore vision. Early detection and treatment of cataracts is critical to preserving sight, because over half of Americans will have cataracts by the age of 80.
A cataract is when the lens of the eye gets clouded due to the tissues within the lens breaking down and clumping together. As you age, cataracts may start to develop and eyeglasses can help deal with them for a time. When people start noticing fogginess in their eyes or changes in their vision, they should consult a doctor as soon as possible. Some symptoms of cataracts include, seeing “halos” around lights, fading of colors, clouded vision, sensitivity to light and double vision. Although there is no prevention for cataracts, living a healthy lifestyle is helpful in reducing your risk of cataracts.
Cataract surgery is often recommended for treatment of cataracts. Cataract surgery involves simply removing the clouded lens and replacing it with an artificial one. The recovery process usually takes up to 8 weeks. If patients need both eyes done, they are each done separately, but usually a week apart.
Here at the Windom Area Hospital, we average over 120 cataract surgeries each year. Check out what our Outreach services can provide for you by visiting us on our website or by calling us at 831-0652.
Mayo Clinic. Cataracts. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cataracts/symptoms-causes/syc-20353790. Accessed June 8, 2018.